M5Stack TOUGH – A weatherproof ESP32 Industrial IoT controller

M5Stack has launched several ESP32 WiFi & BLuetooth IoT controllers with an integrated display such as M5Stack Core2. The latest model, M5Stack TOUGH, is a little different as it is rugged and waterproof/weatherproof with a UV resistant enclosure sealed with o-ring, and offering waterproof M12 connectors.

With protection against solid objects, dust, sand, dirt, and water drops, as well as variety of installation options such as screw mount, rolled strip, magnetic and adhesive back, the M5Stack TOUGH is suitable for more demanding environments from kitchens to factory floors, and outdoor data acquisition.

M5Stack TOUGH weatherproof ESP32 display

M5Stack TOUGH specifications:

  • SoC – Espressif ESP32-D0WDQ6-V3 dual-core processor @ 240 MHz with 520 KB, 2.4 GHz WiFi, and dual-mode Bluetooth
  • Extra RAM – 8MB PSRAM
  • Storage – 16MB Flash, MicroSD card slot up to 16GB
  • Display – 2-inch color LCD with multi-touch capacitive screen, 320×240 resolution, 853nit brightness; ILI9342C display driver and CHSC6540 chip
  • Audio – NS4168 16-bit I2S amplifier, 1W speaker
  • USB – 1x USB port for power and programming
  • Expansion – RS485/I2C/GPIO/UART interface (internal header)
  • Programming – Via CH9102 USB to TTL chip
  • Misc – HY8563 RTC
  • Rugged – Waterproof and Dustproof, UV resistant enclosure design protection
  • Power Supply
    • 5V @ 500 mA via USB interface
    • 12V @ 1A via RS485 interface
    • Integrated AXP192 PMU, 12V to 5V flexible DC/DC converter
  • Dimensions – 76 x 58 x 41 mm
  • Weight – 108 grams


Once the top side of the device is out of the enclosure, you’ll have access to USB port, expansion header, I2C connector, and the 41mm height of the enclosure should give some space for extra sensors if needed through the TOUGH.EXT board inside the enclosure that exposes I2C, GPIO, UART, PWR, and RS485 headers. The design is clearly not made to be immersed, and the company does not mention an ingress protection rating.

As usual, for M5Stack platforms, software development can be done with the ESP-IDF framework, the Arduino IDE, or UIFlow visual programming IDE. M5Stack TOUGH ships with a one-meter waterproof USB cable for power, a Hex key (aka Allen key), and a waterproof weather ring. More technical details and the Arduino library & samples can be found on Github.

M5Stack TOUGH specifications

M5Stack TOUGH is now available for purchase for $49.90 on the company’s store.

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